Malaysia's Mahathir Mohamad will not be able to remove Prime Minister Najib Razak from power undemocratically, a senior minister in the Umno-led government has said.
Senior minister Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz said the former prime minister's "obsession" to unseat Najib has pushed the country unnecessarily into a political crisis.
The minister also said Mahathir is waging a battle to oust Najib with the help of foreign media. The minister said Mahathir has run out of all options and his politically motivated move against the prime minister has ended.
"This man (Dr Mahathir) has won in many battles in the past. He has gone against Mr Tunku Abdul Rahman and Mr Hussein Onn. He has also managed to drop Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, Tun Musa Hitam and Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah. He managed to drop them all but has failed to bring down Najib and so he is very angry," Nazri said, accordant to Malay Mail.
The minister said the long-standing political crisis has caused an erosion in investor confidence and hurt the economy. He said Mahathir uses this in turn as ruse against the administration.
Nazri said Mahathir had used the same strategies against his handpicked successor Abdullah Ahmad Badawi. He had quit the party as he waged a battle to remove Badawi from power midway through his elected term.
But Nazri said this time, Mahathir's strategy has failed as he could not muster enough political support in his move against Najib.
Earlier this week, Malaysian opposition and ruling party dissidents under Mahathir's leadership stepped up pressure on Najib to resign.
The detractors of embattled Najib have said they plan to submit a petition to the royal figurehead seeking the removal of the tainted prime minister.
Mahathir, political patriarch and the longest serving prime minister, also filed a lawsuit seeking the removal of Njab and urged citizens to sign the Citizen's Declaration, which the opposition rolled out earlier last month.
Earlier, after the standoff worsened following the removal of Mahathir's son Mukhriz as the chief minister of Kedah province, the former prime minister quit the Umno party he led for decades, calling it was Najib's party.
In response, Najib appointed Mahathir critic and former prime minister Abdullah Badawi as the advisor at Petronas.